Last week, we noted – cheekily – that Kyle Schwarber rated as the best defender (at any position) in all of baseball.
That was mostly just fun to say, but there was an actual point: with more time and work in left field, and an offseason regimen that saw him drop some weight and increase his agility, it was not unreasonable to believe that Schwarber had improved in left field. Maybe even to the point where being an above-average overall defender out there was not something to be chuckled about. And with his bat, that makes him a very valuable player.
To that end, here’s a great read from Sports Info Solutions on just how Schwarber has improved defensively this year:
Cubs LF Kyle Schwarber was one of the worst defensive outfielders in MLB last season.
He's been a net positive in 2018.
We detail his improvements herehttps://t.co/byDtqFS7Vs
— Sports Info Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) May 25, 2018
The nitty gritty makes for a very interesting digest, but the super short version is that Schwarber’s arm has gotten even better (we knew that part, right?), and he is also making fewer serious mistakes out there. That second one goes beyond traditional “errors,” mind you.
Schwarber spoke with the Tribune about precisely that:
— ChicagoSports (@ChicagoSports) May 25, 2018
Among his comments: “I’m just trying to make smart decisions and get the ball to where it needs to be …. That’s kind of the biggest thing I’ve learned the past couple of years — when to be aggressive and when not to be.” In other words, great arm and fewer mistakes. If you want to get better, that’s a great place to start.
And speaking of that arm:
I still can't get over just how very, very good this Kyle Schwarber play was. Slide, glove, immediate no-look GUN to second base. pic.twitter.com/slM5PzNnoU
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 25, 2018